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Fall And Winter Elk Viewing Tours

After being gone from the state for 150 years, elk were returned in 1997. They now number more than 8,500. So pick a weekend this fall or winter to stay at a state park lodge or cottage and rise early to view the majestic elk up close. Bring your camera, as there should be excellent photography opportunities.

Kentucky State Parks offer these unique tours at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Pine Mountain State Resort Park, and, new this year, at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort elk tour weekend packages include a night’s lodging, two meals, and the elk tour. The package price is $150 per couple; $110 for individuals. Elk tour only is $30. Morning tours leave at 5:45 a.m. Stay an extra night for $45. The dates are October 17-19; November 14-16, November 21-23; December 5-7, and December 12-14. In 2009, the dates are January 17-19, January 30-Feb. 1; February 27-March 1; March 13-15, and March 27-29. For reservations, call (800) 325-0058.

Elk tours at Pine Mountain State Resort Park near Pineville are $20 a person, $10 for children ages 12 and under. The program includes a Friday evening seminar concerning the natural history of the elk and the restoration program, a continental breakfast, passenger van transportation, and interpretive guide services. The dates are October 10-11, October 17-18, October 31-November 1; and in 2009, January 9-10, January 16-17, and January 23-24. Call (800) 325-1712.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg offers half-day tours that include a continental breakfast and cost $20 for adults or $10 for children under age 12. The dates are October 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26; November 1, 15, 22, 29; and December 6. For 2009, the dates are January 10, 17, 24, 25, 31; February 7, 14, 21, 28; and March 7, 14. Call (800) 325-0142.

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